I. William Zartman

I. William Zartman

Professor Emeritus
African Studies
Conflict Management

Rome 420 & Rome 735


  • Conflict Resolution and Negotiation
  • Crisis Management
  • Developing Nations
  • Ethnic Conflict
  • Human Rights and Democracy
  • Humanitarian Crises and Relief Efforts
  • International Relations
  • Peacekeeping
  • Political Risk Analysis
  • Terrorism
  • Treaty Negotiations
  • Danish
  • French

Background and Education

I William Zartman, Jacob Blaustein Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Organization and Conflict Resolution and former Director of the Conflict Management and African Studies Programs, at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC. He is a member of the Steering Committee of the Processes of International Negotiation (PIN) Program at Clingendael, Netherland. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) and a Doctorate Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Louvain.

He received his MA from The Johns Hopkins University in 1952, a diploma from the University of Copenhagen on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1953, and his PhD from Yale in International Relations in 1956. He was on the faculty of International Studies at the University of South Carolina (1960-65), and then Professor of Politics at New York University (1965-80), where he served as Department Head and also as Associate Director of the Center for International Studies. In 1992-1993, he was a Distinguished Fellow of the United States Institute of Peace, in 1993-1994, Olin Professor at the US Naval Academy, and in 1994 and 1997 Elie Halévy Professor at the Institute for Political Studies (Sciences Pô) in Paris. He has taught at the American University in Cairo, and lectured at the Universities of Damascus, Tel Aviv, Mohammed V, Algiers, Ghana, Cameroon, Somalia, Soochow, Oxford, Grenoble, Milan, Warsaw, Aix-Marseille III, Beijing, Nanjing, Louvain, Zaire, Hebrew University, and University of the Andes.

Dr. Zartman is the author of a number of works on North Africa: Government and Politics in North Africa (Praeger, Greenwood reprint); Destiny of a Dynasty (U. of South Carolina); Problems of New Power (Atherton); and editor/coauthor of The Political Economy of Morocco (Praeger), Man, State, and Society in the Contemporary Maghreb (Praeger); Elites in the Middle East (Praeger, for the Social Science Research Council) and Political Elites in Arab North Africa (Longman). He has also written on African politics and relations in International Relations in the New Africa (Prentice-Hall; University Press of America, reprint); The Politics of Trade Relations Between Africa and the EEC (Princeton); African Traditional Conflict Medicine (Reinner); Peacemaking in West Africa (ACPR); Africa in the 1980's (McGraw Hill, for the Council on Foreign Relations, with Legum, Langdon and Mytelka); Conflict Resolution in Africa (with Francis Deng and others, Brookings); Governance as Conflict Management: Politics and Violence in West Africa (Brookings); Sovereignty as Responsibility (with Francis Deng and others, Brookings); and A Strategic Vision for Africa (Brookings, with Deng).

He has also developed the field of negotiation analysis, and is author of The Practical Negotiator (Yale), Ripe for Resolution (Oxford, for the Council of Foreign Relations), and most recently Cowardly Lions: Missed Opportunities to Prevent Deadly Conflict and State Collapse (Rienner) and The Global Power of Talk: Negotiating America’s Interests (Paradigm), with Fen Hampson. He has also edited and coauthored The Slippery Slope to Genocide: Reducing Identity Conflict and Preventing Mass Murder (Oxford); Peacemaking in International Conflict (USIP, 2nd ed.), Power and Negotiation (University of Michigan Press, with Jeffrey Z Rubin); Escalation and Negotiation (Cambridge, with Guy Olivier Faure); Peace vs Justice: Negotiating Forward- and Backward-Looking Outcomes (Rowman and Littlefield, with Victor Kremenyuk); Preventive Negotiation: Avoiding Conflict Escalation (Rowman & Littlefield); Elusive Peace: Negotiating an End to Civil War (Brookings); Banning the Bang or Banning the Bomb?: Negotiating the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (Cambridge); Negotiating with Terrorists (Nijhoff), Rethinking the Economics of War (with Cynthia Arnson) (Johns Hopkins University Press), Getting It Done: Post-Agreement Negotiations and International Regimes (with Bertram Spector) (US Institute of Peace); Negotiating International Regimes (with Bertram Spector and Gunnar Sjösted) (Graham & Trottman), International Negotiation (with Hiroshi Kimura), The 50% Solution (Doubleday Anchor, reprinted by Yale University Press); International Multilateral Negotiations (Jossey-Bass, translated into Japanese); The Negotiation Process (Sage); Positive Sum: Improving North-South Negotiations (Transaction, for the Overseas Development Council); International Mediation in Theory and Practice (Westview, for SAIS Foreign Policy Institute, with Saadia Touval ); and Conflict Resolution in Africa (Brookings, with Francis Deng).

He helped create the peacemaking focus of the International Peace Academy (Institute), of which he was a member; he initiated negotiating courses at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute (FSI) and was on the steering committee for the FSI negotiation project, coauthoring two FSI books, International Negotiation and Perspectives on Negotiation. He is a founding member of the editorial board of the journal, International Negotiation, and is convener of the Washington Interest in Negotiations (WIN) Group. Dr. Zartman was project director of the Case Studies on Negotiations at SAIS and coauthor of The Panama Canal Negotiations (SAIS FPI) and The Algerian Gas Negotiations (SAIS, FPI). He is also the editor of the SAIS African Studies Library with Lynne Rienner Publishers, including The Political Economy of Nigeria, The Political Economy of Ivory Coast, The Political Economy of Cameroon, and The OAU After Twenty Years. He has also written articles for World Politics, Washington Quarterly, Foreign Affairs, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Pouvoirs, Third World Quarterly, Comparative Politics, Annuaire de l'Afrique du Nord, Maghreb Machrek, Negotiation Journal, Government and Opposition, Middle East Journal, Journal of International Affairs, Journal of Conflict Resolution, SAIS Review and others.

Dr. Zartman has received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Research Center in Egypt, among others. He received teaching awards from the University of South Carolina and, twice, from Johns Hopkins SAIS. Dr. Zartman is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; he served on the executive committee and as chairman of the Middle East Advisory Committee of the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars ("The Fulbright Council") and on the SSRC-ACLS Joint Committee on the Near and Middle East. Dr. Zartman was founding Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Middle East Studies Association from 1966 to 1977 and was elected its president for 1981-82. From 1984 to 1996, he was the founding President of the American Institute for Maghrib Studies, and was president of the Tangier American Legation Museum Society for 25 years. He was also founding secretary-treasurer of the West African Research Association (WARA). He was vice-president of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC).

He is a Commander of the Moroccan Alawite Order (Ouissam Alawi)

War and Conflict in the Modern World
I. William Zart...

I. William Zartman

Conflict is inherent to all human and inter-state relations, but it is not inevitable. Since the end of the Cold-War, the prevention of conflict escalation into violence through management and resolution has become a fundamental objective of the international system.

So how does prevention work when it works, and what can be done when tried and tested practices fail? In this book, I. William Zartman offers a clear and authoritative guide to the key challenges of conflict prevention and the norms, processes and methods used to dampen and diffuse inter and intra-state conflict in the contemporary world. Early-stage techniques including awareness de-escalation, stalemate, ripening, and resolution, are explored in full alongside the late or crisis stage techniques of interruption, separation and integration. Prevention, he argues, is a battle that is never won: there is always more work to be done. The search for prevention - necessary but still imperfect - continues into new imperatives, new mechanisms, new agents, and new knowledge, which this book helps discover and apply.

Negotiating in the Shadow of the Intifadat
Edited by I. Wi...

Edited by I. William Zartman

Beginning in January 2011, the Arab world exploded in a vibrant demand for dignity, liberty, and achievable purpose in life, rising up against an image and tradition of arrogant, corrupt, unresponsive authoritarian rule. These previously unpublished, country-specific case studies of the uprisings and their still unfolding political aftermaths identify patterns and courses of negotiation and explain why and how they occur.

The contributors argue that in uprisings like the Arab Spring negotiation is “not just a ‘nice’ practice or a diplomatic exercise.” Rather, it is a “dynamically multilevel” process involving individuals, groups, and states with continually shifting priorities―and with the prospect of violence always near. From that perspective, the essayists analyze a range of issues and events―including civil disobedience and strikes, mass demonstrations and nonviolent protest, and peaceful negotiation and armed rebellion―and contextualize their findings within previous struggles, both within and outside the Middle East. The Arab countries discussed include Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. The Arab Spring uprisings are discussed in the context of rebellions in countries like South Africa and Serbia, while the Libyan uprising is also viewed in terms of the negotiations it provoked within NATO.

Collectively, the essays analyze the challenges of uprisers and emerging governments in building a new state on the ruins of a liberated state; the negotiations that lead either to sustainable democracy or sectarian violence; and coalition building between former political and military adversaries.

Contributors: Samir Aita (Monde Diplomatique), Alice Alunni (Durham University), Marc Anstey* (Nelson Mandela University), Abdelwahab ben Hafaiedh (MERC), Maarten Danckaert (European-Bahraini Organization for Human Rights), Heba Ezzat (Cairo University), Amy Hamblin (SAIS), Abdullah Hamidaddin (King’s College), Fen Hampson* (Carleton University), Roel Meijer (Clingendael), Karim Mezran (Atlantic Council), Bessma Momani (Waterloo University), Samiraital Pres (Cercle des Economistes Arabes), Aly el Raggal (Cairo University), Hugh Roberts (ICG/Tufts University), Johannes Theiss (Collège d’Europe), Siniša Vukovic (Leiden University), I. William Zartman* (SAIS-JHU). [* Indicates group members of the Processes of International, Negotiation (PIN) Program at Clingendael, Netherland]

Negotiating the Nuclear Test Ban Regime
Mordechai Melam...

Mordechai Melamud, Paul Meerts and I William Zartman, Eds.


The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), negotiated between 1994 and 1996, is the latest development in the nuclear arms control regime. It continues to serve a vital role in preserving the privileged status of the nuclear weapons states and barring the way to proliferation. Banning the Bang or the Bomb? brings together a team of leading international experts who together analyse its negotiation as a model of regime creation, examining collective dynamics, the behaviour of individual countries, and the nature of specific issues. The book offers practical guidance and training for members of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization future inspectorate to help negotiate their way during an on-site inspection (OSI) in an inspected state. This is a valuable resource for researchers and professionals alike that turns an analysis of what has happened into a manual for what is about to happen.

Trade-Offs, Timing and Diplomacy
I. William Zart...

I. William Zartman and Guy Olivier Faure, Eds.


For many, negotiating with terrorists amounts to capitulation that only encourages more terrorism. The editors of this book, by contrast, argue that engaging extremists is an indispensable part of a broad policy that is complex in its tactics and deliberate in its balance. While recognizing that engagement carries many risks, they contend that it is not the act of negotiation that encourages or discourages terrorism; it is the terms of the negotiated agreement. The point is not whether to negotiate but how to negotiate creatively to moderate terrorist means. 

Engaging Extremists concerns negotiation with political terrorist organizations, separating terrorist groups that can be engaged from those that, for the moment, cannot. Dealing with terrorism includes keeping violent means in check, transforming its ends from destruction to participation, and undercutting the grievances on which it is based. The essays in this volume tackle the questions of “when” and “how” with a mixture of conceptual discussions illustrated by case analyses. By approaching terrorism as a phase in conflict by ethnic, religious, ideological, and other groups, the first half of this volume identifies appropriate times and tactics for taking advantage of the terrorist organization’s life cycle from when it begins, matures, and declines. The latter half focuses more specifically on the “how” by studying successful experiments in engaging future and past terrorists, the role of third-party mediators, and two case studies of failed negotiations with terrorists.

In the face of terrorism and militant extremism, states must strike a delicate balance between isolation and engagement. Engaging Extremists provides valuable insight into when and how such engagement might be pursued.

Reducing Identity Conflicts and Preventing Mass Murder
I. William Zart...

I. William Zartman, Mark Anstey, and Paul Meerts, Eds.


Twenty noted thinkers and practitioners of conflict management, who hail from ten different countries, discuss how to prevent identity conflicts from escalating into genocide

Devotes particular attention to handling outbidders and spoilers, who play key roles in exacerbating identity conflicts

Analyzes the measures that interveners must take to work among conflicting parties


Negotiating America’s Interests
Fen Osler Hamps...

Fen Osler Hampson and I. William Zartman, Eds.


This book explores the uses and limits of the power of negotiation and diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy at a critical juncture in U.S. history. Beginning with the failure of U.S. diplomacy to nip Saddam Hussein’s ambitions in the bud prior to the first Gulf War, it argues that a series of diplomatic blunders laid the foundations for the uninhibited use of “gun power” over “talk power” for the next two decades. It critically examines missed opportunities in America’s handling of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Looking ahead, it shows how the United States should negotiate with “unengageables” like Iran, North Korea, and terrorists wherever they occur. 

Fall 2018 
The PeaceKidZ p...
The PeaceKidZ program aims to develop children’s ability to understand, analyze and manage conflicts in their everyday lives. The program is based on the three “Rs”: Recognize—understand and analyze conflict; Respect—attitudes and awareness; and Resolve—skills and strategies. A team of second-year students develops lessons and materials for the PeaceKidZ program. Students then teach the PeaceKidZ program once a week for a period of nine weeks to children of middle-school age at a local public school or through an after-school program. Work begins in the fall and extends into the spring semester for teaching, though credit for one semester is earned. The PeaceKidZ program is open to non-Conflict Management concentrators, but a Conflict Management course is required
Spring 2019 
Explores the ba...
Explores the basis of protest and revolt in Africa, in the context of developing societies. Considers formal and informal sources of protest, disengagement and resistance. Examines civil society and interest groups, social movements and dissident networks. Considers rural revolt, guerilla warfare and banditry. Discusses nationalist, insurgent and warlord rebellions. Looks at sources and resolution of conflicts. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the African Studies Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the Conflict Management Program).
Negotiation pra...
Negotiation practitioners will develop insights into the negotiation process, interspersed with negotiation simulations. Prerequisite: International Bargaining and Negotiation. Limited to 12 second-year students. This course can count as the capstone requirement for the program.